Kylee Schwartz is the 2021 Glenn Michelson Memorial Award recipient. Kylee is a Senior at Palos Verdes Peninsula High School in Rolling Hills Estates, and a member of CSF Chapter 1138, South Central region.

Kylee’s essay earned her this honor and $1,000 award. Writing about joining the Asian Real Estate Association of America’s (AREAA) neighborhood project, planting trees throughout the community, Kylee gave personalities to the various trees that were planted as part of an experiment to see which would best survive the harsh coastal conditions.

Kylee wrote “While planting trees is a small act compared to others, it has taught me three things. The first was to slow down. All too often, I get caught up in my daily routine and the speed of life. The ease I felt from planting taught me to take time for myself, to slow down by doing an activity to help others or one to help myself. Secondly, from imagining personalities for the trees, and focusing on their unique characteristics, I learned to notice details. This goes hand in hand with slowing down, if I rush, I miss many things. This discovery has helped me with school projects, caretaking responsibilities, and with my job. Finally, I’ve discovered appreciation. I can walk down the street and feel grateful from the smallest creature to the largest tree. I now appreciate the time and effort it took people to plant trees throughout my community.”

Kylee’s “small” act of planting trees will benefit her community for many years. She continues to keep watch over her trees as they adapt and grow.

Many thanks to Betsy Okamoto, CSF Adviser at PV Peninsula for more than fifteen years, for the support and time she provides to CSF and to her chapter members; and to Brent Kuykendall, Principal, for supporting CSF at Peninsula High.

The Glenn Michelson Memorial Award was established in 2012 in memory of the late Glenn Michelson, past 20-year CSF adviser of Sequoia High School in Redwood City and deeply involved past CSF Board member. He was a strong advocate of our CSF motto promoting community service. This annual essay contest in Glenn’s honor is open to high school CSF senior Sealbearers who have a passion for service.